How BIG Is Hispanic Buying Power

May 2007, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Mauricio Espinosa - Also by this author

In the United States, the Hispanic population surpassed the African-American population as the nation’s largest minority five years ago. However, in terms of spending power, 2007 will be the first year that the Hispanic population possesses more disposable personal income than any other minority in the United States.

This fast, steady growth of Hispanic disposable income was predicted by G20 Inc. consultants in 1999.  The Selig Center of Economic Growth estimates that Hispanic buying power will reach $863.1 billion in 2007. An 8.1 percent increase in buying power over 2006.   This information does affect your dealership, but how? The answer to this complex question depends on numerous factors. Although Hispanics are the largest minority, there are many subsets of this group.

The largest subset, the one with the most disposable income, is Hispanic Americans.  This has been caused by second and third generation Hispanic Americans who have now attained higher levels of education. How this information impacts your dealership depends on what you do with the data.  The dealer who researches his individual Hispanic market and targets accordingly will see sales growth.

This melting pot of the Hispanic population, comprised of individuals originating from different countries now living in your market area, can make targeting and marketing to them challenging.  Do it properly and effectively and you’ll be rewarded.

To do this, start by identifying your target. The complexity of your Hispanic market must be fully understood by your marketing people. Do they know the various countries of origin that comprise the subsets of Hispanics in your market? Do they know the levels of first generation, second generation, and third generation? The amount of Hispanic Americans versus other Hispanics in your market?

You have to know the cultural differences among each subset group.  Most importantly, know how to address them in the appropriate version of the Spanish language. Once you determine which subset of Hispanics you want to market you need to match your services to the proper subset.  For example, if you are a Buy Here Pay Here dealer, you are most likely to target the low income, first generation customer.  If you are a franchise dealer with a used car lot, a Buy Here Pay Here operation and Special Finance operations you might choose to target all subset groups of Hispanics in your market.

Once you have identified your target and the message your want to convey make sure your marketing team is not “translating” your English language content. You want a “trans-creation” for all marketing material.  If you have marketing material translated, it is likely to lose the meaning and fail to deliver the message you originally intended to send.  Trans-creation, on the other hand, combines market knowledge and the proper language skills to create a marketing piece for the intended audience in their native tongue.  If trans-creation is successful, your intended message will reach your intended audience.

G20 has been monitoring the increased spending among companies that target Hispanics.  There are six automotive manufacturers among the top 40 companies spending advertising dollars on targeting Hispanics.  See the table below:

Manufacturer  Spending (in thousands)   
 4th General Motors   $91,924 
 10th Toyota $53,917 
 12th Hyundai $50,775 
 16th Ford $43,883 
19th DiamlerChrysler  $39,733 
31st Honda  $23,925 

If automotive manufacturers are this serious about marketing to the largest minority in the United States, shouldn’t you be too? If you won’t do the research to address the needs of Hispanic consumers in your market, your competition will.

Vol 4, Issue 3

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